Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Neurosci. 2012 Feb 15;32(7):2410-21. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5205-11.2012.

The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism impairs synaptic transmission and plasticity in the infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York, USA.


The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism is a common human single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that affects the regulated release of BDNF, and has been implicated in affective disorders and cognitive dysfunction. A decreased activation of the infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex (IL-mPFC), a brain region critical for the regulation of affective behaviors, has been described in BDNF(Met) carriers. However, it is unclear whether and how the Val66Met polymorphism affects the IL-mPFC synapses. Here, we report that spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) was absent in the IL-mPFC pyramidal neurons from BDNF(Met/Met) mice, a mouse that recapitulates the specific phenotypic properties of the human BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. Also, we observed a decrease in NMDA and GABA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission in the pyramidal neurons of BDNF(Met/Met) mice. While BDNF enhanced non-NMDA receptor transmission and depressed GABA receptor transmission in the wild-type mice, both effects were absent in BDNF(Met/Met) mice after BDNF treatment. Indeed, exogenous BDNF reversed the deficits in STDP and NMDA receptor transmission in BDNF(Met/Met) neurons. BDNF-mediated selective reversal of the deficit in plasticity and NMDA receptor transmission, but its lack of effect on GABA and non-NMDA receptor transmission in BDNF(Met/Met) mice, suggests separate mechanisms of Val66Met polymorphism upon synaptic transmission. The effect of the Val66Met polymorphism on synaptic transmission and plasticity in the IL-mPFC represents a mechanism to account for this impact of SNP on affective disorders and cognitive dysfunction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center